Industry News 2/3/2016

B$Z: Snow Industry Celebrates Snow, Community and Innovation at the 2016 SIA Snow Show and On-Snow

The snow sports community came together this week at the largest snow sports industry event in North America, the 2016 SIA Snow Show and On-Snow Demo. Over 18,000 members of the snow sports industry were in attendance with 956 brands represented.  Retailers, reps, resorts, brands, media, athletes and industry professionals came together to view the full 16/17 collections in tech, style and gear.

“It’s so important for us to come to the Show, because not only do you get to see the full lines for the next season, but you also have the opportunity to strengthen your relationships with the reps and the vendors. As a buyer, that’s critical for me,” said Nolin Wagner, buyer for Valley Ski and Bike in Apple Valley, MN.

Keynote inspiration was a main focus at the Show, with an empowered message for the future of the climate, as delivered by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and VP of Tesla Motors, Diarmuid O’Connell.

As a special guest of SIA and Protect Our Winters (POW), Administrator McCarthy opened the 2016 Snow Show with a keynote address and discussion with Aspen Mountain VP of Sustainability Auden Schendler.

At the annual POW Breakfast, the industry gathered over Bloodies and Burritos to hear Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Tesla Motors, speak about energy storage technology that is now available to move us toward a carbon-free future.

“The snow sports industry is the canary in the coal mine. It’s here the effects are felt first, and in a strategically impactful way,” O’Connell said. “It’s also an industry that attracts first movers and early adopters, so it’s great to share with a group like this that climate change is not an unapproachable issue, that there are economically viable solutions that are available now. It’s very exciting, and these options show that there can be benefits to adopting these new technologies.

Over 50 seminars, including panels and clinics at the I+I Live seminar space, were featured throughout the Show floor. Seminars and overviews of key categories were also found in the category-specific exhibits within The Collectives, curated neighborhoods that highlighted specific market segments. Backcountry ExperienceCRAFT@SIARental World/Backshop & Uniform GalleryNordic Center and OIWC Women’s Lounge all featured the latest gear in each category as well as seminars and events with athletes and thought leaders.

Sourcing Snow returned to the Show floor for 2016, showcasing over 30 top snow sports raw materials manufacturers and featuring the latest innovations in performance materials and components. Production-oriented seminars took place in Sourcing Snow, giving designers and production personnel a one-stop shop to view trends and gain inspiration for their designs. 

“The Show is so important to us because there are only a few very specific times we get to interact with the dealers, and this is the biggest one,” said Isaac Wilson, Nordic Commercial Manager at Amer Sports. “It’s the one chance I get to sit and discuss both the business and product side with the majority of the key dealers we have. We absolutely have to be there.”

Also highlighted at the Show were the industry’s female leaders during the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) Awards. SIA Research Director, Kelly Davis, was honored with the Pioneering Woman Award, which is annually presented to a woman in the industry that has been influential in paving the way for others.

Kerry O’Flaherty, owner of Kerry O Sales, was also recognized by the OIWC for her strong potential for leadership and career advancement through the First Ascent Award. The annual OIWC Keynote & Leadership Awards Presentation featured keynote inspiration from Mark Satkiewicz, President and GM of SmartWool.

The Show continued after hours with parties and gatherings throughout Denver. The historic Ogden Theater hosted two events – the House of Vans featured 2 Chainz on Thursday and The TransWorld Riders’ Poll Awards on Friday. Friday night also brought the 5th annual Icelantic Winter on the Rocks featuring Adventure Club and Big Grams.

At this week’s 2-day On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest and Nordic Demo at Copper Mountain hosted in conjunction with the Western Winter Sports Reps Association’s (WWSRA) Rocky Mountain Demo and in partnership with Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) 136 brands were on hand testing next year’s skis, snowboards, boots, poles, helmets, backcountry and Nordic equipment and accessories for buyers and media to compare side-by-side on over 17” of fresh snow.

“It’s been a great demo for us,” said Hayley Ohl, Rocky Mountain Sales Representative for Arbor Snowboards. “We introduced bindings this year so it’s been a good opportunity to have the retailers try them. It’s been very successful and we’ve been super busy the whole time. And it’s been dumping, so anytime somebody comes back they’re so energized and it’s great to talk to them and hear how happy they are.”

The night got underway with the Uphill/Downhill Awards and happy hour, and the evening continued as Paper Diamond DJ’d the Under Armour outdoor party around the Burning Stone Plaza firepit. The night wrapped up at Elan’s all-industry party at the Incline Bar with 80’s music from The Goonies.

The next SIA Snow Show will take place in Denver from Jan. 25-29, 2017. Recaps, photos, videos and Snow Show Daily magazines from the Show and Demo can be found at SIAsnowshow.org. Follow SIA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Join the conversation by using #SIA16 and #SIAintel.